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In the next few weeks, air fares between India and Australia will come down sharply as supply outstrips demand. The annual pilgrimage to India for many in our community all done and dusted, normal routine is gradually returning.
For many, it’s probably back to work at jobs or businesses. For others, it’s resuming home duties of caring and nurturing. For those getting back to school or uni, there’s still, luckily, a bit of leisure left.
For young ones starting university, this is an exciting time, though for a vast majority an uncertain one. The traditional or more established courses of study seem attractive to those (read: parents) that are looking for professional security down the track. But for others it is the passion that beckons. The reality is in today’s world there are a myriad options and opportunities available.
With technology and social media creating a high level of awareness of different options, as well as the global opportunities which are available for those keen to spread their wings, it adds to further confusion for the younger generation. The conflict within some migrant families, between what the parents feel can be the right professional choices, and what the younger generation wants, is an interesting one.
What one needs to remember, perhaps, is there’s a lot more flexibility in Australia as compared to India. Both socially and personally, it is ok to change direction if in a certain position one feels boxed in. The flexibility does allow one to explore one’s best potential. This can be much harder in Indian society: additional responsibilities also make it difficult to revaluate lifestyle options.
For those returning after seeing loved ones in India, the sorrow of parting will always linger, especially if there are elderly parents in the family. Issues relating to health and well-being will always crop up, as will the conflict of living away from them in their later years. There may have been many a discussion of having the elderly parents join them in Australia. While some will be busy researching visa rules, there may be others who will be confused as to why their offer of moving the parents to Australia is rebuffed by the parents themselves.
The reality could well be that the elders are well settled in their own routine and, while they miss their children, also want to lead a life of their own. They have well-established social structures and networks in India, and are keen to continue living in their own country rather than uprooting themselves in their twilight years. While the distance from the children and grandchildren may hurt, Skype and Facebook may be the simple solutions to minimise the tyranny of distance.
And for those returning to work, either in employment or in self-employed roles, perhaps this is a good time to take stock of their own values. There have been a number of Indian businesses in the news recently which have had questions raised about their work ethics and principles. The conflict in business is often in doing the right thing as compared to making a profit.
While ‘the right thing’ may not help maximise profits, where business strives for revenue, the challenge is to find the right person. Perhaps the right answer is to surround yourself with people at work who believe in ethics and by default will do the right thing for your business. Ethics will mean doing the right thing for everyone and not to be blinded by short term profits or gains.
As one social blogger has written, “Work with a company filled with ethical people rather than try to find a company that’s ethical. In fact, companies we think of as ethical got that way because ethical people made them so.”